Episode 6 | Roaring Back
Preview | Episode 6 | Roaring Back
Bob Poole returns to Gorongosa and discovers a huge colony of water birds.
About Episode 6 | Roaring Back
Premiered: Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Off The Fence
Wildlife cameraman Bob Poole returns to a transformed Gorongosa and discovers annual rains have flooded the plains and forests, turning what was a dustbowl into a water world. Exploring the park at this special time of year, Poole discovers a huge nesting colony of water birds that proves to be one of the greatest birding spectacles in Africa. All this beauty is threatened again as armed conflict between the country's two political parties flares up, jeopardizing the future of the entire park restoration project.
As floodwaters recede, Bob resumes his search for the Sungue Pride cubs that went missing. After many sleepless nights, he finally meets the park’s new cubs — the future of lions in Gorongosa.
Facts From the Episode
An adult lion's roar can be heard up to five miles away.
Gorongosa was home to about 3,500 hippos in the 1970s, and they did a good job mowing the grasses of the Lake Urema floodplain. But hippos were persecuted during the civil war. Today, Gorongosa has about 250 hippos, up from about 100 hippos in 2000.
Hippos weigh up to 3.5 tons, which makes them the third-largest land mammal in the world after elephants and white rhinos. An adult hippo can walk up to 5 miles or more from the water looking for food, and they eat 20-40 kg of grass every night. Their huge sharp canine teeth are used for self-defense and for fighting other hippos, not for eating.
Lions are apex predators at the top of the food chain and are vital to the health of the ecosystem. Without sufficient numbers of lions and other large carnivores, the number of prey species such as warthog, bushbuck and reedbuck would multiply unchecked with serious ecological consequences.
Each lion has a unique pattern of whisker-spots on each side of its face. And just like a human fingerprint, no two whisker-spot patterns are the same, and they don't change over time.
If yellow-billed stork parents can’t catch enough fish for all their offspring, the first-born chick will greedily take it all, growing much bigger than the others. Eventually, it might shove the others out of the nest, and they won’t last long in the water below.
The male and female yellow-billed stork share responsibility for incubating their eggs, brooding, guarding and feeding the young. It’s hard to tell the male from the female. They’re both very tender to each other.